You’ve been charged with impaired driving and you’ve come to our firm and you say, “Mike, look I got a prior conviction unfortunately for impaired driving”. Whether that prior conviction occurred three years ago, five years ago, or ten years ago. “Am I going to jail, am I facing a jail term?” First of all, under the Criminal Code, for a second DUI conviction, that is a person who has a prior, if the crown files Notice of Application for increased penalty with the judge, you are absolutely going to jail for thirty days at a minimum, depending on the fact situation, but that’s the minimum. Can that be avoided? That’s a very tricky and difficult question, but I am going to answer it today. First of all, the crowns have policies and directives from the Attorney General, and one of them is, if the prior conviction was within five years of the date you plead guilty, they pretty much have to file that Notice of Application for increased penalty, beyond that point, they have discretion on whether they are going to do that, that’s important point. So it really boils down to the Crown you are dealing with and the county you are in. I can tell you this, if it’s a prior from twenty years ago, it’s going to be a pretty rare county or situation, that it is going to ask for, you know, jail. If it’s ten years ago, it’s going to be become tricky. It’s going to depend on the crown you meet, etc., you are going to have negotiate that through your lawyers, so it becomes a very tricky situation. Let me give you another example, even if it’s within three years, for example but the crown perceives that they have quit a weak case, if fact, they are thinking it doesn’t meet their test of , you know, is there any reasonable prospect of conviction, the crown in that situation, might agree to no jail “Look, we’ll agree, we think you have a good defence, we’ll agree not to file Notice and you can skate with a fine and a licence prohibition. Then your lawyer is going to have to decide, “well what are my odds of winning?” Like that’s such a great case, maybe I should head to trial, you have to be very careful because if you lose that trial, you’re looking at least thirty days. Should that’s the short answers to those questions, it really depends on how old the record is, and what county you are in and the crown you are facing. That’s why it’s important to hire a lawyer who knows what crown to go to in that county to maximize your chances of avoiding a jail term.

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